Slimani brace rescues Algeria as Egypt and Mali both lose
Two goals from Islam Slimani helped Algeria come from behind to draw 2-2 with Tanzania in their Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier in Dar-Es-Salaam.
Earlier, the Taifa Stars had left Algeria stunned by taking a 2-0 lead.
Elias Maguli put the home side ahead in the first leg just before half-time, scoring in the 44th minute.
Tanzania increased their lead after the break with a goal in the 55th minute through their in-form TP Mazembe striker, Mbwana Samatta.
The home side were dominating Algeria and had chances to further increase that lead.
But Algeria’s Islam Slimani prevented his team from falling to a humiliating defeat to a country lying 109 places below them in the Fifa rankings.
He brought the North Africans back into the game with a goal in the 72nd minute, and made it 2-2 with a second just three minutes later.
Algeria host the second leg in Blida on Tuesday.
There was a big upset in N’Djamena where Chad, ranked 136 in the world, defeated Egypt 1-0 in the first leg of their World Cup qualifier.
Chad secured the victory with a goal from Ezechiel Ndouasel in the 73rd minute.
Ndouasel headed in the ball from close range to put his side in front.
Egypt, seven times champions of Africa, now have much work to do when they host Chad in the Borg El Arab stadium on Tuesday.
Botswana also recorded a victory over a higher ranked team, beating Mali 2-1 in Francistown.
The Zebras raced into a 2-0 lead with a 15th minute goal from Tapiwa Gadibolae and a Joel Mogorosi strike ten minutes later.
Mali gave themselves some hope ahead of their home leg in Bamako on Tuesday, grabbing an away goal in the second half from Samba Sow.
Earlier on Saturday, Congo Brazzaville came from behind to defeat Ethiopia 4-3 in Addis Ababa.
The hosts took a 41st minute lead when Getaneh Kebede put Ethiopia in front.
Their lead only lasted for two minutes, with Thievy Bifouma hitting an equaliser for Congo.
Fabrice N’Guessi Ondama made it 2-1 to the Congolese after the break, scoring in the 63rd minute.
The away side seemed to be racing away with a big victory, with Delvin N’Dinga making it 3-1 after 75 minutes, and then Hardy Binguila adding another for the visitors six minutes later, to make it 4-1.
But Ethiopia almost secured an unlikely draw with a late comeback.
First Dawit Fikadu scored in the 82nd minute to take the scoreline to 4-2, and then Shimeles Bekele Godo made it 4-3 with a goal deep into stoppage time.
Congo held on for a 4-3 victory, and will take that advantage back to Brazzaville when they host Ethiopia in the second leg on Tuesday.
The overall winners advance to the group stages of the qualifiers that will decide the five African nations who will play at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.